Monday, September 22, 2014

Modern Features Every Kitchen Remodel Should Have

Kitchen Remodel
If you are starting a kitchen remodel there are modern features that you should incorporate for the design and for your sanity.  For most homeowners, the kitchen is a high-traffic area that gets a lot of use.  The more kids you have, the busier your kitchen will be.  For many families this means that the kitchen also has to serve double duty as a homework station, entertaining area, and place hang out.  All of this must be possible in a room where meals are prepared, and messes are made.  Fortunately, there are several modern features that can make all of this easier. 
A lot has changed since the 1960s, but many homes still have outdated kitchens that are no more efficient than what your mom was using decades ago.  Sure, the stovetop may cook faster or more evenly but that’s not enough to make a huge difference.  Innovation seems to have passed our kitchens by – until recently. 
Here are some modern features you can incorporate into your kitchen remodel to ensure that your home is more functional and beautiful. 
  • Outlets.  Typically, most kitchens will have outlets here and there but the reality is that we plug everything in now, and more outlets are needed in order to keep up.  You should have them installed in the kitchen island, and anywhere you may use the toaster or mixer.  Think about where you will plug in your cell phone, tablet and speakers as well.  This should be a place that is far enough away from the mess, but still in the kitchen. 
  • Under cabinet lighting.  This feature is important and can make it easier to see what you are doing in the evening.  While a simple concept, under cabinet lighting shines directly onto your countertops make cooking and cleaning easier. 
  • Stainless steel hood.  By placing a hood range in your kitchen, you can keep smells from wandering through your home.  This is important since most people want a modern, open concept floor plan.  
  • Touchless faucet.  There is nothing worse than cutting meat and having to turn your faucet on.  Germs are spread very easily this way.  Instead, have a touchless faucet installed so that you can run your hands under it for water and keep germs from spreading throughout the kitchen. 
  • Large island with seating.  Make sure that your kitchen has an island that can serve double duty as a place for homework and entertaining, along with cooking.  The easiest way to do this is to build the eating counter higher than the cooking surface.  This creates a level of separation without taking up any more space.  You can also install a sink to give a separate space to prep food that is away from the dirty dishes. 
  • Warmer oven.  Life is busy, and you may not have time to cook dinner at six, but have plenty of time at four.  By installing a warmer oven in your kitchen, you can cook when you have time and eat food later while it is still at the perfect temperature.
These are only some of the features that you should incorporate into your kitchen remodel.  For further inspiration, give us a call. 

Monday, September 8, 2014

How to Make Your Bath Remodel ADA Friendly

Bath Remodel
There are many reasons to make your bath remodel ADA friendly.  If you, or your parents, are getting older, having an ADA compliant bathroom can make it easier in the event that someone becomes less mobile than they used to be. You never know if or when this is likely to happen so incorporating these features into at least one bathroom is a good idea.  
For those with family members in a wheelchair, an ADA friendly remodel is not an option.  Fortunately, there are many ways for this to happen while still keeping the bathroom functional and beautiful.  In fact, manufacturers like Kohler make a variety of products that can be incorporated with relative ease. 
Here are some things to keep in mind when planning your bath remodel.
  • Countertops and mirrors need to be at a certain height.  This way someone in a wheelchair can easily wash their hands and look into a mirror without straining.  This height is shorter than normal but still functional for everyone.  Mirrors, for example, should be no more than 40 inches from the ground. 
  • Install grab bars.  You can place a grab bar around the toilet and entrance to the tub. The one near the toilet should be 42 inches long and located 12 inches from the rear wall.  The size and location of the grab bar for the shower depends on the type of shower that you have installed, and we can discuss the specifics with you in more detail. 
  • Roll-in shower.  This can be an easy way to make a shower ADA friendly.  We can build a custom tile shower that looks gorgeous with a glass wall and opening large enough for someone to wheel themselves in and turn around inside.  This is an excellent solution because it looks modern and glamorous while being completely practical.  We can also install a seat that folds down and make sure that there are two shower heads. The lower one can be handheld so that it can be easily accessed from the shower seat. 
  • Turning radius.  It is important to increase the size of the bathroom to accommodate a wheelchair turning around in a complete circle without hitting anything.  That way they don’t have to back out of the bathroom.  
  • Storage.  There are additional things to think about that go beyond staying in compliance.  Storage, for example, is important.  With a roll-in custom tile shower, we can build in storage cubbies for shampoo and other supplies that are within easy reach of the shower chair. This can eliminate any frustration during shower time.  Additionally, with a shower this large, we can build in cubbies for clean towels that are out of the spray range but still easy to access.  The same is true for toiletries.  By building in storage that can easily be reached from a wheelchair, we can make it easier to brush teeth and get ready in the morning.
We are experts at completing a bath remodel and can meet with you to discuss the needs of your family and come up with creative ways to make it happen.